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I'm reporting from Leipzig, Germany about the largest computer games exhibition from Europe.

Today the Games Convention 2006 kicked off in Leipzig, Germany – well at least for members of the press. Games Convention is the largest computer games exhibition in Europe and after the downscaling of E3 probably the biggest in the world. This year about 150.000 visitors are expected, up from 136.000 last year.

You need to know that Games Convention (GC) is fundamentally different in comparison to E3. While I've never been to E3 myself, I know that it was restricted to professional visitors, while GC is open for everybody. This year any visitor may come from August 24th till 27th and check out the latest, soon to be released games. Sometimes you even have the chance to talk to developers.

For developers, a special event called GC Developers Conference (GCDC) already started a few days ago. It includes presentations of famous developers from all over the world including Bill Roper and Peter Molyneux.

As with any gaming-related event, some hardware vendors are also present. On E3 ATI and NVIDIA often preview their latest technology with the newest games, not commercially available at that time. At GC they also have to chance to reach possible customers. This year however, I noticed that hardware companies scaled down their presence significantly. I can't name specific examples here, but you notice when only half of the companies which had a booth last year, have one on GC 2006.

Other companies are trying to find partners in order to save booth costs and those partners might be partnering with someone else too...I think you get the picture. Still, I will try to find out a few new tidbits in various hardware categories and of course some new directions in game development. If there is anything newsworthy, I'll keep you posted. The more standard-stories can be read in German on K-Hardware, which I'm writing for.





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